What if Chicxulub had missed?

Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
edited April 27 in Purgatory
Mammalian and avian evolution would not have had a near vacuum to expand in to, flowering plants neither. What would reptiles have become if their Age continued? Would mammals have subverted it? Would the emergence of shared intentionality have still occurred, but in which class?
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Comments

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Dinosaur Boris?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 27
    No reason at all for human type intelligence not to arise in a terresrrial dinosaur line.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    Dinosaur Boris?

    He ain't extinct yet. Nowhere near, this so called Pee Emm for good times only.
  • Lizard people would probably do a far better job of running things than many of the leaders of the human race.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    No reason at all for human type intelligence not to arise in a terresrrial dinosaur line.

    The main driver of human intelligence was humans. And adversity. Particularly the last ice age maximum.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited April 27
    Lizard people would probably do a far better job of running things than many of the leaders of the human race.

    Some say they do. Run things.
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    They'd have turned into things like this. It says so in the Ricardlings' dinosaur Top Trumps pack, so it must be right.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Lizard people would probably do a far better job of running things than many of the leaders of the human race.

    Some say they do. Run things.
    Aye, they say that. But lizard people would do a far better job ... therefore the loons in government aren't lizard people.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Lizard people would probably do a far better job of running things than many of the leaders of the human race.

    Some say they do. Run things.
    Aye, they say that. But lizard people would do a far better job ... therefore the loons in government aren't lizard people.

    In fairness, I think the conspiracy theory is that the loons in government are just window dressing for the real rulers of the world. Y'know. Them. Oh fuck it we all know it ends up at blaming the Jews. All conspiracy theories lead eventually to anti-semitism.

    Or maybe that's just what they want you to think.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Shee-it. You're right.
  • Didn't Harry Harrison write a series of SF novels about a very similar scenario - "West of Eden" I think it was called? The dino-descendants have advanced bio-engineering but no knowledge of metals, so they use genetically-engineered poison-dart-shooting lizards as gun equivalents...
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Ooooh! That rings a bell. Never read it, although Harrison is great.
  • Yes, a good novel. Still a catastrophe that wiped out most dinosaurs, allowing humans to evolve in Africa while the dinosaurs continued to evolve to intelligence in central America and the Caribbean. With technology based on genetic engineering - my favourite was the engineered plesiosaurs that served as submarines. The novel describes the meeting of the evolved dinosaurs with the first humans to cross the Atlantic.
  • Star Trek Voyageur has the episode Distant Origins, which is thematically connected to this. Netflix has it, at least in Canada.

    You could also look to the Permian-Triassic extinction event, in addition to this one, The Permian was more severe.

    I personally enjoy thinking about the Cambrian Explosion, which shows that many more body plans than currently exist, existed then, of which the selection of them appears relatively chancy. The question asked by the @OP is discussed more about this than the K-T event. (My father was a research geologist)

    That humans are here in our form is merely one of the many possibilities for what a body might look like.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Puzzled/ intrigued by a thread title that I did not understand and could not guess at, I clicked on it to discover to my amazement an entire thread which is to me, so far, completely incomprehensible. It's not just the title. I do not know what anybody here is talking about or even referring to. It's truly novel experience. Any hints please?

    Alternatively, is this a Private Board in a parallel but very alien universe that are somehow goes onto the ordinary ship by mistake?

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    @Enoch, you’re not alone. I’m clueless too.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    The Chicxulub crater in Yucatan in southern Mexico is where the asteroid or comet struck which is considered to have been responsible for the end of the dinosaurs.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    The Chicxulub crater in Yucatan in southern Mexico is where the asteroid or comet struck which is considered to have been responsible for the end of the dinosaurs.

    Yes. There is a crater buried beneath the Yucatan and partly in the ocean. The Alvarez father and son team suggested that the lawyer of iridium between the strata of rock dating to the time of the end of the Cretaceous period and end of dinosaurs was probably due to an asteroid: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvarez_hypothesis

    I remember my father talking about. He said at the time that everyone thought it was crackers.
  • I went to Yucatan 20 years ago (a few days after 9/11 which affected my flight there) and travelled around with no knowledge that that was the location of this extinction event. I saw the cenotes (vertical shafts filled with water) and didn't know what caused them. I wish I'd been aware at the time as I'd have definitely taken an interest in them as well as the pyramids and ruins in the jungles.

    I don't know what the thread is about though; is he asking if the asteroid had missed the place it did hit? It would have hit elsewhere whth similar ot other effects. What else might he mean? Dunno.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    If it had missed the earth entirely so there was no K-T extinction event.
  • OK, thanks. But how can a place miss? I suppose it makes sense if he meant 'what if the asteroid which hit Chicxulub hadn't hit anything.

    (I'm in favour of clear thread titles and OP.)
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    The Chicxulub crater in Yucatan in southern Mexico is where the asteroid or comet struck which is considered to have been responsible for the end of the dinosaurs.
    Thanks. The rest of the thread is still over my head, but at least I know what it’s about now. :grin:

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    I saw the cenotes (vertical shafts filled with water) and didn't know what caused them.
    I don't think there's any direct connection between cenotes and the meteorite. Cenotes are I gather part of limestone cave systems eroded by water near the surface. According to wikipedia they're more common in the crater area but there are plenty elsewhere.
  • The Wikipedia page on the crater seems to suggest a link rather than claiming them as a direct result:
    "The numerous cenotes (sinkholes) clustered around the trough of the crater suggest a prehistoric oceanic basin in the depression left by the impact."
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    edited April 28
    I am puzzled why there is so much confusion on this. Did you not watch the science documentary series "Doctor Who"? If it had missed, then the Silurians (and their cousin the Sea Devils with their fish-net clothing) would have remained the dominant species. And Adric would have lived, which is a fate too scary to contemplate.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Hedgehog wrote: »
    I am puzzled why there is so much confusion on this. Did you not watch the science documentary series "Doctor Who"?
    Nope.

  • PendragonPendragon Shipmate
    Hedgehog wrote: »
    I am puzzled why there is so much confusion on this. Did you not watch the science documentary series "Doctor Who"? If it had missed, then the Silurians (and their cousin the Sea Devils with their fish-net clothing) would have remained the dominant species. And Adric would have lived, which is a fate too scary to contemplate.

    :lol:

    I am aware of that episode, but haven't got that far through. Have met the Silurians though!
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I feel I am in an almost perfect illustration of the words of C P Snow (The Two Cultures)

    "A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?[5] I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question – such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? – not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language."
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    OK, thanks. But how can a place miss? I suppose it makes sense if he meant 'what if the asteroid which hit Chicxulub hadn't hit anything.

    (I'm in favour of clear thread titles and OP.)
    I think the name is used metonymically both for the crater and for the object which caused it.

    As for the cenotes, there seem to be two types. Some are naturally collapsed cave roofs, but others are thought possibly to have been caused by the impact of lesser fragments at the time of the main Chicxulub impact.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    I feel I am in an almost perfect illustration of the words of C P Snow (The Two Cultures)

    "A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?[5] I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question – such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? – not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language."

    Yeah, there does seem to be a weird thing (is it specific to the English-speaking world?) that considers knowledge of art, literature and dead languages as being "general knowledge" that should be common to any "educated" person while relegating even the most basic of secondary school scientific ideas to the realm of geeks and weirdos. I assume it's an artifact of the public school curriculum.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 28
    KarlLB wrote: »
    I feel I am in an almost perfect illustration of the words of C P Snow (The Two Cultures)

    "A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?[5] I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question – such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? – not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language."

    Yeah, there does seem to be a weird thing (is it specific to the English-speaking world?) that considers knowledge of art, literature and dead languages as being "general knowledge" that should be common to any "educated" person while relegating even the most basic of secondary school scientific ideas to the realm of geeks and weirdos. I assume it's an artifact of the public school curriculum.

    Funny thing happened to me once.

    Picture yourself in a room full of Primary B.Ed. students. The specialist subject of the vast majority for some reason was (and I gather generally is) English. It's reasonable to guess that for most of them their A levels were all in humanities.

    Dotted in this sea of English specialists are a handful of Maths, Science, D&T and PE specialists. The English specialists outnumber the others all combined about 2:1.

    The session was on Drama. We were charged with the dramatic task of pacing with a pre-occupied demeanour. To that we were then asked to add acting that we had something stuck to our hands that we couldn't get off. After a few minutes, the tutor asked which Shakespeare character we had now acted.

    About a third of the class (including me) replied "Lady Macbeth". It was all the non-English specialists.

    I asked an English specialist friend about that as I was surprised she hadn't got it. "Oh, we hadn't done Macbeth" was the reply. Thing is, nor had I. I'd sort of picked the basics up. I couldn't quote more than a few words, and I'd be lost if you tried to make me write an essay on how Shakespeare used language to portray this that or the other.

    I found it interesting that a narrow in-depth focus on particular bits of English Lit. seemed to preclude a shallow general knowledge of the rest of the corpus. Not sure it adds anything to this, but it's an observation I've found fascinating.

  • Maybe the thread title could have been "What if the dinosaurs had not been wiped out?"

    The problem I have with this type of thinking is that the answer is "pretty much anything". We do not know - maybe they would have died out due to over use of the earths resources. Maybe they would have developed intellegence, and sit in the House of Lords.

    Incidentally, did you realise that t-rex could - potentially - have seen stagasaurus fossils? That is how long they were around. The possibility that they would last - in some form - a few more seems not unreasonable.

    Maybe the world would be a better place if they had.
  • Yes, in one way it's an interesting speculation, how would evolution proceed if dinosaurs had survived. Well, the traditional reply is, they did, as birds. But apart from that, we have no idea. You can speculate further about the development of humans, etc.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Maybe the thread title could have been "What if the dinosaurs had not been wiped out?"

    The problem I have with this type of thinking is that the answer is "pretty much anything". We do not know - maybe they would have died out due to over use of the earths resources. Maybe they would have developed intellegence, and sit in the House of Lords.

    Incidentally, did you realise that t-rex could - potentially - have seen stagasaurus fossils? That is how long they were around. The possibility that they would last - in some form - a few more seems not unreasonable.

    Maybe the world would be a better place if they had.

    Yeah, the time gap between the periods Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus were extant is larger than the time gap between Tyrannosaurus and the present.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Yes, in one way it's an interesting speculation, how would evolution proceed if dinosaurs had survived. Well, the traditional reply is, they did, as birds. But apart from that, we have no idea. You can speculate further about the development of humans, etc.

    I think the point is "if they'd survived as the dominant land animals". They did in some parts of the world - there are some early Cenozoic birds you'd not want to run into if they were hungry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorusrhacidae

    I wouldn't describe birds being a continuation of dinosaurs as a traditional response; when I was a kid it was very much "birds may have evolved from dinosaurs". Now (and admittedly this is also partially to do with the rise of cladistics* as well as new fossil discoveries) it's "Birds are dinosaurs"

    *Cladistically, we'd all be fish, if fish were an accepted taxonomic group. This is in fact why fish are no longer considered one.
  • snowflakesnowflake Shipmate Posts: 44
    edited April 28
    So what, exactly, are what we call fish, in that case?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 28
    snowflake wrote: »
    So what, exactly, are what we call fish, in that case?

    You still call them fish. They don't stop being a thing because they're a polyphyletic group - i.e. you can't define them as all the descendants of a single common ancestor without artificially excluding terrestrial tetrapods. Coelocanths and lungfish are more closely related to us than they are to sharks or goldfish, but for most non-scientific purposes (and even some scientific purposes) it still works to have a group called fish.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited April 28
    I think the rough answer is an evolutionary grade of aquatic vertebrates that have functional gills throughout their lives. (There is I believe some question as to whether hagfish count as vertebrates.) It is a concept of some use to anatomists and ecologists but not to people doing taxonomy.

    The basic idea is that a taxonomic group should contain all descendants of a common ancestor, or that everything in the group should be more closely related to each other than to anything outside the group. Perches are more closely related to sparrows than they are to sharks, and lungfish are more closely related to sparrows than they are to perches, so fish don't form a natural taxonomic group. Instead they form five or six different groups (lungfish, coelocanths, ray-finned fish, sharks and rays, lampreys and hagfish - the latest thinking is that lampreys and hagfish make up a single group).

    An evolutionary grade is an imprecise notion meaning a group of animals who may not be each other's closest relatives but share some features of their common ancestor which other groups no longer do.
  • My fading memory tells me there used to be a discussion about the inevitability of humans. Was this put forward by Christian paleontologists, apart from de Chardin?
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    What if Chicxulub had missed?

    Serious answer:

    The Deccan Traps supervolcano would still have erupted (indeed, had already started erupting), so an extinction event would likely have happened anyway due to all the gas and ash it was throwing into the atmosphere. Whether it would have been as major an extinction event as the one that actually happened is moot, but it's not as simple as "no asteroid impact = no problems".

    Less serious answer:

    The world of today would have been populated by highly evolved dinosaurs, as shown in the seminal Theoretical Evolution reference work, 1993's "Super Mario Bros.".

    Meta observation:

    Is there no thread that can't be turned into a political treatise by the usual suspects? I swear, we could be talking about the return of Superted and someone would find a way to turn it into a dig against Boris/Trump/whoever. It's tiresome. Save it for the politics threads, please.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    The crocodiles would have got on with their lives without fear of being turned into handbags.

    NEXT!
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Is there no thread that can't be turned into a political treatise by the usual suspects? I swear, we could be talking about the return of Superted and someone would find a way to turn it into a dig against Boris/Trump/whoever. It's tiresome. Save it for the politics threads, please.

    Wait, what? A political treatise? At whom is this directed?
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited April 28
    My fading memory tells me there used to be a discussion about the inevitability of humans. Was this put forward by Christian paleontologists, apart from de Chardin?
    Simon Conway Morris, the palaeontologist who worked on the Burgess Shales, argues contrary to Stephen Jay Gould's interpretation of his work, that there are only a limited number of viable lifeforms and that evolution converged on them. He comes quite close to implying that while evolution is random the types of viable lifeforms are coded into the laws of physics by God.
    His book has a positive strap line quote from Dawkins. For what reason I don't know.

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Dave W wrote: »
    Is there no thread that can't be turned into a political treatise by the usual suspects? I swear, we could be talking about the return of Superted and someone would find a way to turn it into a dig against Boris/Trump/whoever. It's tiresome. Save it for the politics threads, please.

    Wait, what? A political treatise? At whom is this directed?

    Me.

    I nearly said ‘Dinosaur Queen Elisabeth’.

    Either way I was joking.

    My serious answer is ‘nobody knows but it’s interesting to speculate.’
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    My fading memory tells me there used to be a discussion about the inevitability of humans. Was this put forward by Christian paleontologists, apart from de Chardin?
    Simon Conway Morris, the palaeontologist who worked on the Burgess Shales, argues contrary to Stephen Jay Gould's interpretation of his work, that there are only a limited number of viable lifeforms and that evolution converged on them. He comes quite close to implying that while evolution is random the types of viable lifeforms are coded into the laws of physics by God.
    His book has a positive strap line quote from Dawkins. For what reason I don't know.

    That's brought it back to me. I think convergence is central to Conway Morris's ideas, for example, he argues about musicality being found in different groups, e.g., humans, birds, cetaceans. I suppose this argues against randomness, not sure if it points to g - d. Doesn't he also talk about an "engineering space" with lots of gaps, although I guess this can be seen as a mathematical structure with no intelligence? No doubt Morris would say that structure and intelligence are intertwined.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    Is there no thread that can't be turned into a political treatise by the usual suspects? I swear, we could be talking about the return of Superted and someone would find a way to turn it into a dig against Boris/Trump/whoever. It's tiresome. Save it for the politics threads, please.

    Wait, what? A political treatise? At whom is this directed?

    Me.
    I thought it was a comment directed at me.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    Is there no thread that can't be turned into a political treatise by the usual suspects? I swear, we could be talking about the return of Superted and someone would find a way to turn it into a dig against Boris/Trump/whoever. It's tiresome. Save it for the politics threads, please.

    Wait, what? A political treatise? At whom is this directed?

    Me.
    I thought it was a comment directed at me.

    I interpreted it as being directed at Boogie, since she had actually alluded to the current British PM by name.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    Is there no thread that can't be turned into a political treatise by the usual suspects? I swear, we could be talking about the return of Superted and someone would find a way to turn it into a dig against Boris/Trump/whoever. It's tiresome. Save it for the politics threads, please.

    Wait, what? A political treatise? At whom is this directed?

    Me.
    I thought it was a comment directed at me.

    I interpreted it as being directed at Boogie, since she had actually alluded to the current British PM by name.
    Either way, I’m not sure a two-word post (Boogie’s) or a one-sentence post (Alan’s) constitutes a “political treatise.”

  • Actually, thinking about Conway Morris, nearly all Christians are theistic evolutionists, aren't they, except creationists? So any catastrophe would not prevent humans. But I forgot Karl's cunning "human type intelligence", it could occur in lizard form. I think Morris would say this is inevitable, not the lizard bit.

    It seems to connect with Tegmark's idea of the mathematical universe, but with no God.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    We don't know whether it's inevitable or not. It probably isn't. I mean, 3,500my of life on earth, it's only done more than float microscopically for the last 1,000my or so of that. So we don't really know whether multicellular life is even inevitable. It took a billion years to move on from being prokaryotic. It's not hard to believe it would never have happened, that and getting a central nervous system, concentrating the thinking bit of that CNS into a brain, and even then everything that separates Amphioxus from people who can read Ulysses.
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